USA – American Greek yogurt maker, Chobani, is ending the production of its Chobani Ultra-Filtered Milk three months after launch, citing high inflation in the market.
Milk was among the latest products introduced by Chobani as it moves beyond its signature Greek yogurt to grow sales and evolve into a total food company.
However high inflation has made it difficult for the dairy manufacturer which produced the milk with a co-packer to continue being in the business.
“We have come to the tough conclusion that it does not make sense for Chobani to be in the Dairy Milk business at this time,” the company said.
Chobani had touted the ultra-filtered milk as a potential disruptor in a category with more than a billion dollars in annual sales.
The company’s offering, which was made using a special filtration process to help eliminate lactose and reduce sugar by half, had 2.5 times more protein than traditional milk.
While traditional milk has struggled, the ultra-filtered category has bucked the downward slide, attracting big-name companies in the process.
Coca-Cola recently acquired the remaining stake in Fairlife it didn’t already own in 2020 while Organic Valley and Danone’s Horizon Organic have offered their own versions of the product.
It is thus an unusual move for Chobani – which is known for introducing new products to the market – pulling a high-profile offering it only recently launched.
Since 2019, Chobani has introduced oatmilk, cold-brew coffee, probiotic beverages and coffee creamers.
Yogurt still remains the company’s main growth driver. It generated US$1.2 billion in sales for the company in 2020, while its other products posted net sales of US$157.7 million.
“We did look at ways to evolve [milk] in order to continue servicing our customers, but at the end of the day, we thought it would be best to focus our resources and prioritize our core products, like yogurt, coffee creamers and oatmilk,” the company said.
Chobani Half & Half coffee creamer, introduced at the same time as the Ultra-Filtered Milk, is remaining in the company’s lineup.
Chobani has not publicly shared how sales of its milk were doing and how many retail locations were carrying it but it is possible sales weren’t doing as well as the company liked, or not as many stores opted to carry it as initially expected.
The decision to end production of its ultra-filtered milk follows the return of former president and chief operating officer Kevin Burns to the position.
It’s uncertain whether Burns, who came to replace Peter McGuinness, played a role in ending the production of the company’s milk.
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